Windows comes with a lot of software pre-installed. While many of
its features aren’t appreciated enough
, some Windows apps that are simply inferior to other tools.
6 Underappreciated Features of the Windows Operating System
6 Underappreciated Features of the Windows Operating System There are plenty of Windows features you use every day, but some you might not have ever seen. Let's give these underrated tools some credit.
Let’s look at the best software to replace Windows’ default offerings. While many third-party tools
offer only slight improvements
over a Windows app, these five blow away the stock offerings in every way and are must-haves.
The 10 Best Free Search Tools for Windows 10
The 10 Best Free Search Tools for Windows 10 Windows Search is only good for basic and casual use. If you search Windows often, you may be better off with an awesome third-party search tool.
1. Google Chrome > Microsoft Edge
Edge is Microsoft’s attempt to get people to use the default Windows browser after years of Internet Explorer (IE) being looked down upon by users everywhere. While it’s far less of a pain than IE, it’s
still not worth using as your default browser
5 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Switch to Microsoft Edge Yet
5 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Switch to Microsoft Edge Yet Is Microsoft Edge worth using while Chrome, Firefox, and Opera are still around? Is Edge good enough to be your primary browser?
finally offers extensions
, but not nearly as many as other browsers. You won’t find basic conveniences like tab syncing or power user features in Edge, so it ends up feeling incomplete.
10 Best Microsoft Edge Browser Extensions You Should Try Today
10 Best Microsoft Edge Browser Extensions You Should Try Today The latest Windows 10 Upgrade finally brings browser extensions to Microsoft Edge. We have examined the handful of extensions available and show you which ones are worth your time.
Our top pick for an Edge replacement is still Google Chrome. It has a
massive library of extensions
that add so much functionality to your browser, and
The Best Chrome Extensions
The Best Chrome Extensions A list of only the best extensions for Google Chrome, including suggestions from our readers.
plenty of tweaks for power users
to fiddle around with.
10 Hidden Chrome Settings You Should Change
10 Hidden Chrome Settings You Should Change There’s more to Chrome settings than the basic tweaks you made when you first set up your browser. Let’s see what that involves.
Its sync capabilities let you open your desktop tabs on your phone and vice versa. The Chrome experience tops off with speed, security, and new features arriving regularly. Some people
do have issues with Chrome
, but for most we wholeheartedly recommend it over Edge.
I Hate Google Chrome But I'm Trapped In It. Here's Why
I Hate Google Chrome But I'm Trapped In It. Here's Why In the Chrome vs. Firefox war, I'm siding with the Google users. But I don't want to. Chrome is my browser of choice because it has features that I can't live without.
Download — Google Chrome 2. VLC Media Player > Windows Media Player
Windows Media Player
has been around for years
. It’s still present in Windows 10, but hasn’t changed much since its Windows 7 iteration.
Remember These? 7 Ancient Windows Programs Still Used Today
Remember These? 7 Ancient Windows Programs Still Used Today They say technology advances at an exponential rate. But did you know some programs have been around for multiple decades? Join us for a walk down Nostalgia Lane and discover the oldest surviving Windows programs.
With the rise of streaming media and lack of optical drives in newer machines, you probably don’t open Windows Media Player often. However, a good media player is still important to keep around.
VLC Media Player is an easy choice for the best. This tool can play everything that you throw at it, so your video and audio files have a central home. It also natively
, and supports
How to Play DVDs & Blu-Rays on Windows 10, Even Without a DVD Drive
How to Play DVDs & Blu-Rays on Windows 10, Even Without a DVD Drive With the removal of Windows Media Center, it has suddenly become more difficult to play DVD and Blu-ray discs on your computer. Fortunately, you have alternatives, including third-party tools or virtual drives.
like ripping audio from video. And you can
6 More VLC Media Player Features You Must Try
6 More VLC Media Player Features You Must Try VLC is a media player more powerful than you might realize. Are you using it to its full potential? Here are some pointers.
set up a home media server using VLC
How to Create a Linux VLC Streaming Media Server for Your Home
How to Create a Linux VLC Streaming Media Server for Your Home Enjoying music or movies via Netflix or YouTube is great, but what about when the Internet is down? With a VLC media server, you'll never have to go without entertainment again!
Even if you only use it sparingly, there’s no reason to settle for Windows Media Player.
Download — VLC Media Player 3. Paint.NET > Microsoft Paint
Paint is the basic image editor included with Windows.
MS Paint has improved
since its inception, but at this point, it’s still a barebones solution that’s frustrating to use for anything outside of simple cropping jobs.
We Tested the MS Paint 3D Preview: Here's What We Think
We Tested the MS Paint 3D Preview: Here's What We Think MS Paint has been around for as long as Windows existed. The Windows 10 Creators Update will include Paint 3D and Remix 3D. Will these free tools help 3D modeling go mainstream?
Everyone needs to work with image editing at some point. Whether it’s rotating, blurring sensitive info, or editing large parts of the image, you need
something better than Paint
10 Free Photo Editor Tools To Make The Most Of Your Shots
10 Free Photo Editor Tools To Make The Most Of Your Shots Whatever happened to all the snapshots you've taken in the past? If you've got plans and ideas, here are some great Windows and some cross platform tools to process them with.
Paint.NET is your best choice. It offers far more features than MS Paint without an overwhelming interface. You’ll find layers, automatic adjustment, blending, blurring, and more all inside an easy-to-use package. It
won’t replace Photoshop for hardcore editing enthusiasts, but most users can do all the editing they need in Paint.NET. Download — Paint.NET 4. Notepad++ > Notepad
Windows Notepad gets overshadowed by Word, but it’s still a useful utility. There are plenty of useful applications for a quick text file, like jotting down a brief note or having a place to
strip the formatting on text
. Notepad even
5 Ways to Strip the Formatting When You Copy & Paste Text
5 Ways to Strip the Formatting When You Copy & Paste Text Carrying all the rich text formatting along when copying and pasting text is irritating. Here are multiple ways to avoid that.
has some tricks up its sleeve
8 Surprising Windows Notepad Tricks You Must Know
8 Surprising Windows Notepad Tricks You Must Know The inconspicuous Windows Notepad is full of surprises. You'll want to keep this ancient Windows program handy at all times after we showed you some of the tricks it can do.
There’s no reason use it, though, when Notepad++ exists. This free tool is so feature-packed that Notepad is probably embarrassed. Notepad++ includes tabs so you can keep multiple files open at once and even stores unsaved files until you explicitly close them. If you’re
using it to write code
, you can select a language for formatting and auto-correct help. Macro support lets you automate repetitive tasks and save time.
Text Editors vs. IDEs: Which One Is Better For Programmers?
Text Editors vs. IDEs: Which One Is Better For Programmers? Choosing between an advanced IDE and a simpler text editor can be hard. We offer some insight to help you make that decision.
If you need more functionality, Notepad++ has a library of plugins that give you more options, like a spellchecker and HEX converter. You won’t find weird Notepad annoyances like the
Ctrl + Backspace shortcut entering a weird empty character, either. Even if you never write code and just use Notepad++ to scratch down notes, it still deserves a place on your PC. Download — Notepad++ 5. ShareX > Snipping Tool
The Snipping Tool included in Windows
is way faster than pressing and pasting the image into Paint. But it’s still pretty basic. You can’t make quick edits to a screenshot or upload it to any services. PrintScreen
For that, you need
a better screenshot tool
, and we like ShareX for most people. ShareX includes an impressive amount of features, such as live editing for
The Best Tools to Grab Screenshots in Windows
The Best Tools to Grab Screenshots in Windows Are you often taking screenshots? Upgrade your tool to one that meets your needs. We put several free tools to the test and present the best ones for ease of use, editing, and sharing screenshots.
getting the perfect shot
, tons of places to upload your images to, and automatic steps to take once you’ve completed a screenshot.
How to Take the Perfect Screenshot in Windows
How to Take the Perfect Screenshot in Windows The best way to take a screenshot depends on the version of Windows you're on. We show you the subtle differences, give troubleshooting tips, and reveal the best keyboard shortcuts and tools.
It uses the powerful Greenshot editor but builds greatly on it. It even includes some features that Snagit charges for, like scrolling your screen to capture a large area.
Screenshots are useful for all sorts of moments, so it helps to have a great editor for working with them. The Snipping Tool simply can’t compete with everything ShareX has to offer.
Download — ShareX Which Windows Apps Have You Replaced?
There are several other default Windows utilities that could have made this list. We almost included Windows Defender as its antivirus protection isn’t as solid as other choices, but
it makes up for that
by avoiding the nag screens,
4 Reasons to Use Windows Defender in Windows 10
4 Reasons to Use Windows Defender in Windows 10 In the past, Windows Defender was overshadowed by other options, but now it's quite a contender. Here are a few reasons why you should consider dropping your security suite in favor of Windows Defender.
useless browser extensions
, and phoning home that other antivirus software has. Some Windows software is fantastic, but for these tools you just can’t beat the free alternatives.
Is Avira Browser Safety a Necessary Extension?
Is Avira Browser Safety a Necessary Extension? Avira Browser Safety sounds like a great way to stay safe online, but do you really need this extension? Let's take a look at what it does for you.
Complement these programs with
more must-have apps
and have a look at
New PC? 12 Must-Have Windows Applications You Should Install First
New PC? 12 Must-Have Windows Applications You Should Install First If you just got a new computer, you might wonder which programs you need. We show you the 12 most essential and best Windows tools any user should install.
popular programs you should uninstall
to make your software experience even better.
10+ Windows Programs You Should Uninstall
10+ Windows Programs You Should Uninstall Over time, you've probably installed a lot of software in Windows. However, not all of it is necessary. Here are several outdated or useless tools you can remove.
Which built-in Windows software do you swap for another tool? Add your favorites to the list below in the comments!